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HUNTER X HUNTER #2 - - Watch & Learn

The current 'best kept secret' of anime?

As I’ve mentioned, my re-visit of DBZ is coming to an end soon. I’ve been eying at FIST OF THE NORTH STAR as a replacement for W&L, already, of course. However, as I’ve mentioned, it’s tough to resist when there are so many shows just sitting there, waiting for instant streaming… so here we are.

You lunatics have been insistently recommending HUNTER X HUNTER to me. First, while I was watching Togashi’s other epic (my beloved YU YU HAKUSHO), and then any time I’ve ever griped about the quality of any current, long running shonen. There’s something appealing about it being the ‘best kept secret’ in anime, right now. I mean, it’s been trucking along steadily for however many episodes, yet somehow not getting nearly as much as fanfare as ONE PIECE, TORIKO, FAIRY TAIL, et al.

Of course, if I’ve being totally honest, I feel like I’m trying to like this show in spite of itself. It’s a very specific quality to quantify, I realize, but this feels like Togashi’s honed the storytelling fundamentals of shonen so well that he can maintain audience interest even when the actual ingredients of the show aren’t actually that compelling. Like, there’s really nothing that memorable about Gon and his cohorts. Weirdly, they almost look like the mascots of some junior appliance line at IKEA (as bizarre as that sounds) - - cartoons that are as basically appealing as they are inoffensive.

At the same time, however, the whole trial of virtue that our heroes pass in this episode was actually a well-constructed ‘Riddle of the Sphinx’ scene. Also, the concluding chase/battle with the monsters was making the needle on the ol’ ‘thrill meter’ dance properly - - even if the critters didn’t seem to fit that cohesively into this world. I’m not excited about coming back for episode 3, but I am intrigued to watch it, neverthless, so I suppose that’s Togashi’s aforementioned invisible craft at work?

Watch this episode, Test x Of x Tests" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
Donwunon Aug. 21, 2013 at 1:04 a.m.

Tom, rest assured you have made a great choice. I think this is one show that will show you just how great anime can be again and i am very satisfied with this rebooted version so far. Looking forward to your observations.

Prepare for Epicness!

Lurkeroon Aug. 21, 2013 at 1:51 a.m.

HxH is not really a hit or miss series. There is very much a gray area there for me. I enjoy the show but I often see a lot of things that make me wish the series was written better.

rubberluffyon Aug. 21, 2013 at 2:35 a.m.

Hunter x Hunter is without a doubt one of the best written shonen series I've read, and a lot of that feeling is based on the currently being animated (but finished in the manga) Chimera Ant arc. I've read through that (very long) arc twice now and I enjoyed it even more the second time and Madhouse has been doing a great job with it. This series is astonishingly well animated for currently being at 93 episodes.

I think you'll see what makes this series special as you round out the first 10 episodes and by 20 I think you'll really get it.

NickyCharismaon Aug. 21, 2013 at 2:37 a.m.

I hear so many good things about this show and yet I still haven't checked it out. I feel the same way out HxH as FMA: Brotherhood. Yes their reputation precedes them but it's hard to justify their episode count when there are so many other long form shows that I'm currently watching (Tiger and Bunny, Gurren Lagann, Soul Eater). Hopefully I'll get around to it someday.

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 21, 2013 at 4:22 a.m.

Think i watched up to 20's or so an enjoyed it .Its good shonen .An at times rather bloody .At times it has a epic feel to it an when it does not it really doe not .Got side tracked with other anime series but planed to go back.

At times it feels like the increadable race an other times survior.World logic is a bit wonky but watchable enuff.Art style is good i think.Animation is average to good. Joujuu Senjin!! Mushibugyou id rate a bit above it but then again im way behind on HxH episodes to.Either or stil beats the hell outa Toriko . at least for me that is.

katmicon Aug. 21, 2013 at 11:43 a.m.

HXH is a must watch for any fan of anime and shonen. The first 20 or so episodes are mostly okay, but things take at epic turn after that

sickVisionz moderator on Aug. 21, 2013 at 11:46 a.m.

I hate to say it but I think you'd love this show but will probably drop it soon. I started watching it when I was really sick and could go through the first 13 episodes just off of feeling too bad and being to lazy to stop the stream and search for something else (I didn't hate it, but I did feel I was sitting through the meh in hopes it would start delivering awesome stuff if I stuck around for a cour/13-episode chunk or so) but I think you'll drop it long before that.

It starts off pretty mediocre but it gets great right around the second cour and it's actually managed to stay pretty great since then, despite some storylines that on paper are incredibly dumb. The writers have a good way of making things darker and more serious than you'd think something go. Like the current arc is about giant cockroach-lion-dolphin chimera monsters (zero exaggeration there) trying to take over the world but they actually found a way to make that not as ridiculous as it sounds and the arc has far more dramatic heft than I ever thought it would.

It's also interesting seeing how many ideas got ripped from this. Like there's a character from a dangerous group... who has major deadly beef with his brother... and he's kinda dark... and he has lightning based powers. Once you get that specific, I think you move from trope to plagiarism.

But anyways, good series. You should give it a shot or just skip ahead to watch the first Hisoka battle, then skip to the very very end of the Hunter Exam arc and start from there. You won't have missed anything important as the series is shonen and like usual, the character types are pretty obvious, everyone wears their heart on their sleeves, and even if there's something important missed, you'll get more than enough flashbacks to parse it all.

mooned_knight staff on Aug. 23, 2013 at 10:21 p.m.

I think we'll have Tom on to talk with me about the current Chimera Ant arc... this show is A-MAZING.

sickVisionz moderator on Aug. 24, 2013 at 1:27 p.m.

@mooned_knight: You can't let him skip the auction arc though. That was the best one so far imo.

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